Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Source: Bears eyeing options at punter
By Michael C. Wright
The Chicago Bears made it clear Tuesday they want more production from punter Adam Podlesh.
According to two league sources, the club worked out six punters at Halas Hall on Tuesday, just two days after Podlesh finished with a 28.8-yard net average on five punts in a loss to the Detroit Lions, including one 40-yard punt returned by Micheal Spurlock for a 57-yard gain to the Chicago 22.
An NFL source pointed out that Podlesh has "struggled all year," "has lost strength" and "can't hang the ball at all." The team was still discussing the situation as of Tuesday afternoon, and the source indicated the Bears have considered moving in another direction with the team desperately needing more production at the position. But no definitive decision had been made.
Chicago worked out punters Drew Butler, T.J. Conley, Chris Kluwe, Mat McBriar, Brian Moorman and Tress Way along with long-snappers Charley Hughlett and Kyle Nelson, in addition to defensive tackle Ra'Shon Harris.
Kluwe played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2005-12 before moving on to Oakland, where he lost out in a punting competition during training camp. Moorman has spent time with Buffalo and Dallas, and like Kluwe came out on the losing end of a training camp battle in Pittsburgh.
McBriar played for the Cowboys from 2003-11 before joining the Eagles in 2012, only to be cut in March.
A former fourth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Podlesh signed a five-year contract with the Bears in 2011 worth $10 million.
Going into Sunday's game at Detroit, Podlesh had a 42-yard average on 14 punts, with six attempts being downed inside the opponent's 20.